- EU countries expressed their anger at AstraZeneca following this week’s news that the drug maker would not deliver the number of vaccines it had committed to.
- European Union countries have not begun mass vaccinations because of the countries’ slow approval and purchasing processes, along with delays in receiving supplies of vaccinations.
- The World Health Organization has announced that there is no danger of blood clots when using the AstraZeneca vaccination.
BRUSSELS, Belgium: EU countries expressed their anger at AstraZeneca, following this week’s news that the drug maker would not deliver the number of COVID-19 vaccines it had committed to.
European Union countries have not begun mass vaccinations because of the countries’ slow approval and purchasing processes, along with the delays in receiving supplies of vaccinations.
While there have been reports of scattered cases of people developing blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccines, the World Health Organization has announced that there is no danger in using the AstraZeneca vaccination.
Also, Thailand has joined a small number of European countries in suspending use of the AstraZeneca shot.
Meanwhile, Reuters has reported that AstraZeneca expects to have delivered 30 million doses to the EU by the end of March. Still, this is 10 million fewer than they had pledged and far below the amount called for in its contract with the EU.
One source has said that AstraZeneca has been slowed in manufacturing vaccines because of difficulties caused by international supply chains.
Industry executives added that they have had difficulties in reaching their delivery goals because of manufacturing problems caused by countries protecting their own supplies of vaccines, ingredients and the equipment to make, store and transport vaccines.
Additionally, Washington has advised Brussels that it will not allow AstraZeneca vaccines from the United States to be exported to the EU, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The AstraZeneca contract stipulates that “best reasonable efforts” must be made to manufacture 300 million doses for the EU by the end of June.
However,EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton said on Thursday, “I see efforts, but not ‘best efforts’. That’s not good enough yet.”
The EU program has also been slowed in the last two weeks due to the reports of blood clots.
“It’s very important to understand that, yes, we should continue to be using the AstraZeneca vaccine,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing. “All that we look at is what we always look at: Any safety signal must be investigated.”
Of note, the European Medicines Agency said on Wednesday that the number of clots reported in people who had been inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine was no higher than in the general population.